Agency: Abbott Mead Vickers/SMS Author: Laura Marks

Economist! I Never Read the Economist


The Economist's advertising campaign, 1988-1991, has been one of the most discussed and commended poster and press campaigns of the period. The distinctive style and the biting wit of the captions has been widely noted and, indeed, awarded. This paper will demonstrate that the campaign has not only been noticed but has actually contributed to the business at a time when, given the economic climate, quite the opposite might have been feared. This case history is quite remarkable given the discretionary nature of The Economist. In times of severe recession the publication has not only fought off decline but has actually shown growth. This is almost entirely attributed to a distinctive and relevant campaign which, despite a climate of fear and cutbacks, was bravely continued and which paid dividends.